This month, I interviewed senior Rachel Horn about her new phone chain business, Cherry Bomb Chainz. I am always interested in students who are able to find the time to organize an idea into a business and find a manageable balance between school and the work that they do outside of it. I wanted to talk to Horn particularly because of how individual each of her pieces are, the professional yet fun nature of the @cherrybombchainz Instagram, and her ability to act on a new trend and make it personal and more affordable. Of course, even just having a job is impressive along with school, but executing something that a student has created themselves can be especially rewarding, and it continues to be something I am seeing more of among the Tulane community that I really want to highlight. 

Emily Ryan: When did you start making phone chains? Were they just for you when you started out or for some of your friends too? How did you gain support initially?

Rachel Horn: I started making phone chains just about a month and a half ago. When I first started out, I had planned to start a business. I knew I wanted one for myself, but I knew they would be a product that other Tulane students would want as well. I gained support initially from my friends, and once myself and my friends started posting on social media with them, other people became interested in purchasing as well.

@CherryBombChainz

ER: Where did you get the idea and what specifically made you decide to do it?

RH: I got the idea from social media, as I started to see fashion bloggers and celebrities post selfies with these chains attached to their phone. Many of the brands that had been selling these chains were either based abroad, meaning that shipping was expensive, or the chains were extremely overpriced. I knew I could make a chain for a more reasonable price for students and young adults, and with even cuter, more personalized designs.

ER: Are all products unique to what the customer requests or do you have certain styles everyone chooses from? 

RH: Yes, each and every product is unique and customized based on what the customer requests. I ask each customer what color scheme, which specific beads they like, and if they want any customized initial or name beads. While it may sound corny, I really do think that these phone chains are an accessory that add color, fun, and happiness to your phone, which is something that everyone carries around with them all day, so I want to make sure everyone has one that makes them feel happy and fits their aesthetic. 

ER: On your Instagram page, in addition to the chains, you incorporate cool and unique interior design photos in addition to fashionable outfits, accessories, and nail art. What draws you to these images? What do you think these photos say about you and why you started Cherrybombchainz? Are you also interested in fashion and design more generally?

RH: I love creating aesthetically pleasing social media feeds, and I think creating this vibe on social media contributes to the brand aesthetic. I have a passion for all things fashion and plan on pursuing a career in fashion, and I think that these images, just like the phone chains I am selling, bring fun inspiration to my followers.

ER: What are your goals with Cherrybombchainz in the future?

RH: I am not totally sure what my goals with Cherry Bomb Chainz are for the future, but I saw a practical (you can carry them on your wrist) and fun trend that I felt would add happiness to students at such an uncertain time in our lives and decided to take a leap. While I am graduating in May, I still hope to continue Cherry Bomb Chainz in the future.

Horn ended the conversation by saying: 

I love seeing my customers post in their Cherry Bomb Chainz and seeing Tulane students on campus sporting their Cherry Bomb Chainz. It truly makes me happy and is extremely rewarding to see people enjoying a product that I know I created.

Feature Image Credit: @cherrybombchainz